2024 Hyundai Venue Elite Review

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Overview

HYUNDAI updated its Venue light SUV just over a year ago, adding important comfort, convenience, and connectivity features that pack considerable value into this pint-sized offering.

Now available from £22,500 plus on-road costs in base form – or £29,250 + ORC in the Elite grade tested – the Venue’s inclusion of Qi wireless device charging and app-based Bluelink connected car services brings it in line with other best-sellers in the class, genuinely adding to the ownership experience.

Bluelink connected car services introduce features such as automatic collision notification, conversational voice control, connected routing, valet mode, weather updates, calendar synchronisation, destination send-to-car, and last-mile navigation.

Other ‘segment-first’ features include remote control of cabin temperatures, window open/close, and door lock/unlock plus vehicle health reports, find my car, and cloud-based backups of preferred vehicle settings.

Connected car services are complimentary for the first five years of ownership.

Furthermore, all Venue grades now adopt a customisable 4.2-inch Supervision digital instrument panel, USB-C charging ports front and rear, and a back seat storage compartment that Hyundai says is suitable for stowing mobile phones.

Rear occupant alert and a self-dimming rear-view mirror now feature as standard across the Venue range, while a new steering wheel control layout includes the addition of a new ‘Custom’ button, which enables the driver to programme their favourite desired function for one-push access.

Visually, the MY23 Venue range is differentiated by a shark fin-type antenna in place of the conventional aerial offered previously. Metallic paint remains a £595 option.

Finally, the multipoint injected 1.6-litre petrol-powered Venue range has been “streamlined” to remove the six-speed manual transmission from the mid-tier Active variant. A manual transmission remains available on the entry grade only.

The Venue’s engine produces 90kW of power at 6300rpm and 151Nm of torque at 4850rpm. The four-cylinder unit returns a claimed combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 7.2 litres per 100km when paired to the six-speed automatic, and 7.0L/100km when fitted with the six-speed manual.

Driving Impressions

The Hyundai Venue entered the market in 2019 as a replacement (of sorts) for the Accent hatch and sedan. Clearly, as an SUV, the Venue is a replacement in the spiritual sense only but sticks close to the cheap and cheerful formula the Accent left behind – or at least, it did.

Now £2510 (or 12.5 per cent) more than originally ticketed, the Hyundai Venue is not as ‘cheap’ as it once was. But it is still ‘cheerful’ – and offers excellent value for money when ranked against segment stalwarts like the Kia Stonic, Mazda CX-3, and Toyota Yaris Cross.

The cabin is surprisingly spacious and exceptionally easy to get in and out of. The seating is comfortable, with decent leg space in the rear, and generous headroom throughout. Storage is ample, given Venue’s size, with nifty pockets and trays, including a dedicated spot for your mobile phone.

Cargo space is listed at 355 litres in five-seat mode, but somehow feels bigger. There is storage beneath the cargo bay floor and split folding seats, as well as a space saver spare wheel – all great selling points in our opinion.

The higher seating position of the Venue when compared with the Accent it replaces is brilliant for around-town manoeuvring, and for zipping into tight city parking spaces. Combined with a clear reversing camera and parking sensors, the Venue will easily squeeze into places you would otherwise second guess.

That’s helped along by well-assisted steering that doesn’t lose out when you open the taps. At motorway speeds, the Venue steers accurately and with sensible levels of feedback, ensuring a confident feel that is well suited to new and seasoned drivers alike (it may seem trivial, but we are firm believers that accurate steering feel is conducive to on-road confidence).

All-disc braking and a cooperative pedal gift the Venue with decent stopping power, the electronic assistance from the vehicle’s anti-lock system and stability control both cooperative and well-calibrated.

For a little car, the Venue offers plenty of confidence and communication, backed by a comprehensive active safety bundle with the majority of Hyundai’s Smart Sense offerings.

Engine performance is adequate, with acceptable low-end torque for climbing hills without too much fuss. However, the transmission is at times a little clunky, shifting awkwardly between ratios without rhyme or reason. It’s a point we feel lets the driveline of the Venue down, especially when it is otherwise more than capable.

On the flipside, we’d have expected better fuel economy from a small and lightweight package, the 7.2 litres per 100km achievable only when pedalling lightly. Around town, and in stop-start traffic, fuel consumption climbs into the nine-litre bracket, which to our mind is considerable – especially when others in the class perform better.

We also feel that the Venue would benefit from better headlights, especially in top-spec Elite form. The projector beam headlights seem dim, failing to offer the reach or spread for safe driving away from well-lit urban streets. When others in the Hyundai range do so well, it seems peculiar that the Venue should perform so poorly here.

Given its price and position in the market, the Hyundai Venue still offers a lot to like. It’s a well-packaged and affordable option in an increasingly pricey segment, and one that feels both honest and dependable.

With Hyundai’s expansive warranty and aftersales package, and extensive dealership network, we feel the Venue is a terrific fit for those just starting out, looking to downsize, or chasing that decent second car.

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